This is a traditional prize this year- since Ahrisaari and his initiatives have emphasized bringing people to the table to discuss differences. There is an effort to avoid war, but once war has begun, there must be an effort to end it peacefully. The Norwegians who award this prize understand this, even if John McCain doesn't.
Throughout all his adult life, whether as a senior Finnish public servant and President or in an international capacity, often connected to the United Nations, Ahtisaari has worked for peace and reconciliation. For the past twenty years, he has figured prominently in endeavours to resolve several serious and long-lasting conflicts. In 1989-90 he played a significant part in the establishment of Namibia’s independence; in 2005 he and his organization Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) were central to the solution of the complicated Aceh question in Indonesia. In 1999 and again in 2005-07, he sought under especially difficult circumstances to find a solution to the conflict in Kosovo. In 2008, through the CMI and in cooperation with other institutions, Ahtisaari has tried to help find a peaceful conclusion to the problems in Iraq. He has also made constructive contributions to the resolution of conflicts in Northern Ireland, in Central Asia, and on the Horn of Africa.
He is the founder of Crisis Management Initiative.
Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) is an independent, non-profit organisation that innovatively promotes and works for sustainable security. CMI works to strengthen the capacity of the international community in comprehensive crisis management and conflict resolution. CMI's work builds on wide stakeholder networks. It combines analysis, action and advocacy.
Congratulations to Mr. Ahtisaari and his worthy organization. Every day I try to meet or hear of someone whom I admire, to keep going in this troubled world. I had never heard of Mr. Ahtisaari until this morning, but I salute him.